Let's Get Traditional
by Will Bennett
At UVa, we call our campus Grounds instead of calling it "campus." On admissions and historical tours of UVa, the tour guide will prefer to the area of the school's campus that you are on as a specific area of "Grounds."
First-Year, Second-Year, Third-Year, Fourth-Year
Instead of calling themselves freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, students at UVa will call themselves first-years, second-years, third-years, and fourth-years. The reason behind this tradition dates back to the founding of UVa. First, Thomas Jefferson believed that learning was a life long process that was never completed, so therefore you could never be a senior in learning simply by beginning your fourth year of college education. Second, during the first years of UVa's function, many students would enter UVa for a year or two and then leave to return home for an extended period of time, and then they would come back to UVa to continue their college studies. Therefore, It made more sense then during UVa's early years for students to identify what year of their undergraduate education they were in rather than calling themselves a freshman, sophomore, etc. Even students that are pursuing graduate level studies here at UVa will say they are "second-year law students" rather than saying "sophomore law student."
Wahoos and Hoos
The official name and mascot of the UVa athletics teams is the Cavalier, but our informal name for our sports teams and our students is the Wahoo, or simply the Hoo. At any UVa athletic event, you would hear the announcers say "Go Hoos," rather than "Go Cavaliers," and you will also here many professors on Grounds refer to students as simply "Hoos." The origin of this nickname for our sports teams and students goes back to a heated baseball rivalry with Washington and Lee University in the 1890s. During the 1890s, the fans of Washington and Lee's baseball team would refer to UVa students as fans as "wahoos." Overtime, this name came to be used more frequently around Grounds and by the 1940s it had become a commonly used term to refer to UVa students and athletic teams. Since then, the term has since been shortened to just "Hoos" rather than "Wahoos."
One of the most popular places for UVa students to go out to eat and hang out at is an area of University Avenue called "The Corner." University Avenue is one of the main streets of the area of Charlottesville near UVa's Grounds, and it serves as a kind of outline for the area of Grounds just north of the Rotunda. The Corner has some of the most popular restaurants, shops, and bars that students will go to throughout the year.
Academical Village and the Lawn
The original classroom and dorm buildings of the University of Virginia are located in an area of Grounds called the Academical Village, and the Lawn is the grassy area that divides the East and West sides of the Academical Village. The Academical Village is comprised of the 10 Pavilions, 54 Lawn Rooms, and the Rotunda that surround the Lawn. Thomas Jefferson called the original Grounds of UVa the "Academical Village," because he believed that a college should be like a village where professors and students would live and learn together during their years at UVa. The Lawn serves as the quad of UVa's original Grounds, and while there are some Quad areas in the first-year dorm areas, the Lawn would be the equivalent of the central/original quad of UVa.